A moving memorial

UFCW Canada members and activists were among more than 300 marchers on Feb. 14 in Calgary to honour the murdered and missing women of southern Alberta.

The gathering marked the second anniversary of the Memorial March for Murdered and Missing Women in the city. Other Valentine’s Day marches were also held across Canada, including in Vancouver where the first march took place 19 years ago on Valentine’s Day after the brutal murder of an aboriginal woman.

“It was great to see so many people in the community get involved,” says UFCW Canada national representative Devin Yeager, a member of the Calgary organizing committee, which also included members from a number of Calgary-area women’s and social justice groups. Devin is pictured in black tuque marching with UFCW Canada Local 401 representative Louise Craig. Also joining the march were more than 60 members of the Siksika Nation who travelled by bus from their community about an hour east of Calgary.

The large red banner (seen in photo) was used to lead the march, bearing the names of some 3,000 missing or murdered women. Marchers made their way from the Scarboro United Church, an inner-city community outreach centre in southwest Calgary, winding their way through downtown streets before enjoying a “chili-fest” lunch with food donated by UFCW Canada Local 401.

“Certainly, any memorial event is going to have a sad note, and the seriousness of this march was no exception,” Devin says. “At the same time, it is a positive that we were here in solidarity, supporting each other and our community – to make it safer for everyone and to make sure that violence against women is investigated and not ignored.”

Vol. X No. 9, March 8, 2010